Polls show Britain is divided over its future in Europe. The arguments for and against remaining in the European Union are broadly over economic benefits versus immigration fears.
It is a tale of two neighboring cities, as CCTV America’s Owen Fairclough reports.
UK European Union referendum: a tale of two citiesBritain is divided over its future in Europe. Arguments for ang against remaining in the European Union are broadly over economic benefits vs. immigration fears.
Cambridge has one of the oldest universities in the world, and the University of Cambridge scientific researchers have joined forces to lobby for remaining in the EU.
“There are huge fears from people I talk to across the place, around Cambridge — people who live here, people who work in the universities, people who work in the high-tech sector, in the hospitals. They really are worried what the consequences would be. They can see a really bad effect if we were to leave,” Julian Huppert, member of Cambridge Parliament, said.
At the antibacterial research company Discuva, the fear is isolation.
“The good thing about being part of Europe is that we access 30 percent of the world drug market. The U.K. itself only accesses 3 percent. The U.S. accesses 40 percent. If we are out of Europe we are on our own,” David Williams, chief executive of Discuva, said.
But the mood is rather different less than an hour away by train in Peterborough.
Peterborough is prime Euroskeptic territory. The U.K. Independence Party claims immigration from predominantly Baltic and Eastern European member states has divided communities here.
“Peterborough is a very different city from Cambridge. Peterborough has experienced enormous levels of migration over recent years particularly into low-paid, working class jobs, which has resulted in wage compression,” Patrick O’Flynn, U.K. Independence Party member in European Parliament, said. “So it doesn’t make economic sense for Peterborough as a whole and it puts intense pressure on the quality of life here.”